The “Goldilocks” Project Pace for Successful Salesforce Projects
If you don’t know the classic fairy tale, it goes something like this: a little golden haired girl skips through the forest and into a strange house where she proceeds to eat from three bowls of porridge, sit in three chairs, and sleep in three beds. To her surprise when she is awoken by its inhabitants, she discovers the house belongs to three bears! Today, Goldilocks has become short-handed for the middle way. The way that is juuuuust right. Not too hot, not too cold, not too hard, not too soft. The way that fits you perfectly.
Project pace, the speed and efficiency with which you progress through a Salesforce project, has a Goldilocks element to it. There are disadvantages to going too slow or even too fast! Finding the pace that is juuuuust right for you is the result of collaboration and hard work and we’re here to help you find it.
When you move at the Goldilocks pace, you build a solution that comprehensively meets your needs, you achieve maximum engagement and efficiency with your team, and you optimize user adoption.
Let’s look at what can happen when a project moves too slowly, too fast, and what it takes to find that Goldilocks pace.
Moving TOO SLOW
When you find a solution that you think will meet your needs and an implementation partner that will work with you, there’s a lot of positive energy in the air! Delaying the start of the project or moving too slowly through the discovery phase, where we deep dive into understanding the work you do and how we’re going to build out your system, can result in a loss of early momentum and buy-in from your team.
We know that many of you wear a lot of hats in your organization. When a project moves too slowly, team members can be pulled away and back to their other responsibilities. Getting them re-aligned and committed to dedicating the needed amount of time can lose valuable momentum. We often refer to this as the priority struggle.
We’ve also seen projects move too slowly because the perfect has become the enemy of the good. There will always be things to improve or tweak. At the beginning of a project we will ask you “what is your definition of done?” and “what does success look like to you?” This helps us focus and provides a sense of satisfaction when we finally launch. It also ensures that we do address the things that really matter to you and your team.
When a project moves slowly, there’s also the lost opportunity cost of paying for a product that you are not yet using. We want to get you up and running in your new system so you can do what you do best — serve your communities. A functional and effective CRM system with data you can trust will increase your mission impact, sometimes immediately.
Moving TOO FAST
Is there such a thing as too fast? Surely, you want to complete this project at light speed so you can get back to work, right? Hold up! There are a few things that can trip you up if you aren’t aware of them.
Idealist Consulting puts a lot of emphasis on our initial discovery process. The last thing we want is to get to the end of a project — or even partway through — and have a key process or role missing or misunderstood in a way that may have an impact on work that has already been done. Coming to a shared understanding takes time and attention. And, bonus! Being thorough at this stage results in a smoother and more efficient building phase.
Another place where going too fast can trip you up is in the testing phase. We want to make sure everything we build works for you and the members of your team. Deploying a solution that hasn’t been thoroughly tested can depress user adoption. If users have to put in a lot of work into a brand new system after it launches, you risk them losing trust in the system, particularly if it was a lot of work to get team members willing to use something new.
If users don’t trust the system, they may not use it effectively or consistently, which would result in a loss of data or inaccurate data. This is a problem if you anticipated using that data to make business decisions.
Moving at a pace that is juuuuuust right
Now that we’ve covered the pitfalls of moving too slowly and too fast, let’s talk about what a Goldilocks project pace looks and feels like and how to find it.
A Goldilocks project pace may feel a little faster than you are initially comfortable with, but don’t worry - we will be right there with you. We want to capitalize on the excitement of finding the right implementation partner and get you into your brand new system in a streamlined and efficient manner. Our consultants are experienced and intuitive, able to guide clients through a process that is both structured and customizable. Our goal is to get you into a system that uniquely serves you and your community - increasing your mission impact.
Here are some tips, suggestions, and resources for finding and maintaining your Goldilocks project pace:
- Tie the end of your project to an operational milestone. Maybe you have a fundraising event coming up or the end of your fiscal year or the launch of a new initiative. Using that event as a deadline can help set guideposts along the way and keep everyone moving together. This isn’t necessary, but has been highly successful for some teams to better define the end of their project.
- Get together a stellar internal team. It’s important to have a project manager with some level of authority, an executive sponsor who will go to bat for the project, and some super-users who will spread excitement throughout the organization. We’ve found that clients with a committed and focused internal team move at a Goldilocks project pace and report high levels of satisfaction with their final product. Successful teams set aside time for discovery meetings, testing, training, and internal meetings every week to get through the work needed to move the project along.
- Be realistic about the things that are really important and try not to get sidetracked with low priority functionality that may not add a lot of value to the project. Our Client Success team does a great job of having those big picture conversations to help keep you focused on your high-level goals.
- Stay flexible and adaptable! Certain elements may go as planned and new things will come up or become more important as you work to implement your new system. If you and your team stay agile, you’ll be able to create something that fits you like a glove and to find the pace that works just right for you and your team.
- Make a plan for user adoption early. Our team will help you craft training and roll-out strategy — a successful solution is one that gets used well and consistently. Planning out a robust user adoption plan will keep your project pace moving a good speed and in a good direction from the very beginning.
Our consultants and our Client Success team have lots of great resources to help you discover and support your Goldilocks project pace. And if you’re just now thinking about Salesforce as a solution for your team or organization, let us know! Our team can get you rolling at juuuuuust the right speed.